Farmer grows oranges in North Dinajpur

Orange plantation in Gohara village north Dinajpur
Raiganj: Orange growers in the Darjeeling hills might be disappointed over production but the fruit has given a middle-aged farmer reason to rejoice over a hundred kilometres away.
Mohammad Imajuddin of Gohara village in North Dinajpur, who had visited the hills three years ago and was fascinated by orange plantations there, has succeeded in growing the fruit in his village, a feat that few could remember in recent memory.
"I had brought saplings from Darjeeling and planted them in the field in my village. After a year, I managed to grow oranges in two trees just before the winter. This gave me the confidence that I, too, can grow the fruit if saplings are planted over a larger area. Accordingly, I stopped cultivating paddy and instead, focused on the fruit," said Imajuddin.
He planted around 100-odd saplings on a one-bigha plot and started nurturing them with organic compounds.

"I did not use any chemicals or fertilisers and managed to grow oranges in 100 trees or so. This is the first season that I have managed to grow oranges on such a scale," the farmer said.
The fruits, he said, have already found a buyer.
"A fruit trader based in Siliguri had visited my place recently. He saw and even tasted the oranges. He was surprised and offered me a price similar to what they pay to orange farmers in the Darjeeling hills," said Imajuddin.
Officials at the horticulture department in North Dinajpur said they had not come across any such orange plantations in the district in recent memory.
"It is indeed an achievement for the farmer. He can be a role model for others. We have planned to project his success so that others come forward and start orange cultivation," said an official.
Imajuddin, who is planning to plant orange saplings on a larger scale next year, said government assistance would surely help him do better.
"I had no experience of orange farming. If the state can arrange for training and extend some financial assistance, I can carry out the farming in a better manner and with a higher yield," he said.
Some local farmers have already expressed interest, Imajuddin said.
The feat has also drawn the attention of the district administration. "We will extend all possible help to him and can even arrange for loans. If required, we will also ask officers of the agricultural marketing department to scout for potential buyers," said Ayesha Rani A, the district magistrate.

The Telegraph

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